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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of the global economic crisis (GEC) on political change. A number of emerging European economies have experienced political turnover, but in other emerging and transition economies, government turnover and regime change have been comparatively rare. Two factors – incumbent governments' responsibility for the current crisis and their responsiveness to its domestic economic effects – shape the political effects of the GEC. Outside Europe, most emerging economies have experienced this crisis as an external shock to trade and investment rather than a domestic financial crisis. As a consequence, their governments have experienced less severe economic contractions, and have been able credibly to portray themselves as victims of, rather than causes of, the economic difficulties that they currently face. By placing political turnover in emerging Europe in comparative perspective, this argument provides a new perspective on the consequences of economic integration on national politics for emerging economies around the world.